Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Laughing and Learning: A Perfect Pairing

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Group of Multiethnic Cheerful People ApplaudingWhy pair laughing and learning?  Because it works.  Humour is one of the best ways to get your messages across, particularly if your audiences can identify with the stories you tell.   This also means that it is important to know your audience.

I use humour throughout my speeches and workshops and close my presentations with material that leaves my audiences laughing. Why is it important to do so? Because I believe the joyful memory will stay with them for the rest of the meeting and beyond.  If that memory is retained, then chances are, so will my messages.

Recall some of your favourite leaders, colleagues, trainers, and speakers.  The memorable ones are those who use a combination of compelling stories and humour to effectively communicate their messages. Of course we need substance –  proof points and concrete information to support what we are saying.  However, we also need to create balance with a lighter outlook.

Even Shakespeare knew the necessity of comic relief.  In his most tragic plays like, King Lear and Hamlet, he gave the audience a break from the intensity of the action by introducing a comedic scene.  There is a reason this interlude is called ‘comic relief ’.

Incorporating humour does not mean you have to be a comedian or joke teller.  It is about approaching your audience with a lightness of being.  It is about using humourous stories to encourage others to see solutions and possibilities, and to generate a collective positive experience.  People who share a healthy sense of humour tend to energize a room and engage colleagues and clients.

The next time you lead a meeting or deliver a presentation, consider ways to include humour – a lightness of being.  Your audiences will be attentive and grateful.

Beyond the Joy of Speaking

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Hand shape of heartI am so fortunate to do what I do. This past month two more experiences reminded me again how wonderful it is to be a professional speaker.  The speaking is only a part of the job satisfaction. I love communicating with audiences, making them laugh, inviting them to reflect, and encouraging them to think. That’s half of the joy. The balance is the opportunity to meet such interesting and diverse people, and to learn about companies and organizations that I would otherwise not encounter.

The Deaf-Blind Coalition of Ontario and Cambrian College invited me to be a guest speaker at their respective events. My experiences are always positive. So, what was particularly special about these two?  Let me start with the Deaf-Blind Coalition.  Sharing the stage with me were two incredibly talented Sign Language Interpreters.  Signers tag-team, each sharing the stage for 10 minute intervals.  Not only were these phenomenal duo instantly interpreting my words – they were interpreting me! They were a reflection of my performance, capturing my style and messages perfectly. I was in awe.  Almost to the point where I wanted to stop speaking and watch them!  They embodied everything I try to encourage my audiences to embrace in their personal and professional lives: passion, focus, spontaneity, teamwork. There was a dinner prior to my presentation so we sat together to get to know each other. They were quick studies and demonstrated a wonderful sense of humour.

Cambrian College in Sudbury is a State of the Art institution.  While I was waiting to receive a tour of the facility, a music student graciously accepted my request for him to play his guitar.  Without hesitation or fanfare he played an emotionally charged classical piece.  The tour was another highlight.  From the training kitchens of the Chef School to the Wabode Aboriginal Centre and it’s with enchanting meditation centre.  I plan to return and enjoy a meal at the Fontaine Bleue operated by the Hotel and Restaurant Management Department, and take a meditation class with the remarkable Debbie Robertson.

Finding Optimism in a Winter Wonderland

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009


Recently I was hiking with friends along the Bruce Trail in Niagara on a picture perfect winter day.  The conversation was as invigorating as the exercise. The top of mind subjects were the economy, global unrest, and the relentless exposure to gloom-and-doom media.  As many others have expressed in their blogs, we agreed this incessant negative bombardment was not good for the human spirit. Negative thoughts attract negative events and foster toxic energy. We made a pact that we would help shift the collective mood and mindset one person at a time, and we would advocate a ceasefire of negative chatter in our homes and our workplaces. Our conversation soon shifted to The Golden Globe Awards, Wii games, and the iPhone versus the BlackBerry. We gave thanks for the air we breathe and the fact that we were still breathing.
 Life was Good!

As a motivational speaker, I am fortunate to have a platform on which to communicate my messages; however, every person can create a portable platform and have an impact on friends, family and colleagues. The sky is not going to fall. We will overcome these challenges, as we have so many times through history.  And we don’t have to be miserable or fearful waiting for these turbulent times to settle. I am not in denial, nor am I burying my head in the sand – I simply don’t want to work and play in gloomy surroundings until it all passes.  Do you?

What are you doing to elevate your spirits? Help others to elevate theirs.

View Lorraine helping to elevate your humour